Let’s start with a little bit about me – I’m a Birth & Postpartum doula, a Pediatric Sleep Coach, and a Doula agency owner. I’m a busy, busy lady and my passion is supporting and loving people – whether they’re newly pregnant and looking for guidance or they have just had a baby and are drowning in all the newness. It’s not unlike me to give so much to others, that I forget to take care of myself. This has been a theme in my life for as long as I can remember and my journey has brought me here, to making myself more of a priority… while still loving on and helping others!
Back in 2011, I had 3 births back-to-back, barely slept for 4 days and ended up getting sick. I went to the doctor 3 times and was told it was only the flu, but 10 days later, I still wasn’t getting better. A middle of the night ER visit and some chest x-rays revealed that I, in fact had pneumonia. And it had gone undiagnosed for almost 2 weeks. An onslaught of antibiotics ensued and in a few days I was feeling much better (yay modern medicine!)
Then weird things started happening. My eyes and face started twitching. My hands and feet felt like they were being stuck with a million tiny needles. It took huge effort to get up the stairs and I fell while walking to a friend’s car once. My legs just went out under me. I was dropping things and could barely brush my hair or put on clothes. It was the scariest time of my life.
After getting the runaround from various doctors I finally found a neurologist to see me without a referral. I underwent nerve conduction tests, blood tests, and strength tests and more. It was exhausting and terrifying. The diagnosis: Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Guillain-Barre is rapid-onset muscle & nerve weakness caused by the immune system damaging the peripheral nervous system. So basically when I had pneumonia and went so long without treatment, my body was working overtime to fight the infection that my immune system began attacking my muscles and nerves.
But let me tell you something: I WAS SO LUCKY. Many people with Guillain-Barre end up in the hospital because the body starts attacking the muscles and nerves around the lungs, severely effecting the breathing muscles. Many people end up requiring medical ventilation, intravenous immunoglobulins or plasmapheresis which is the removal, treatment, and return or exchange of blood plasma. Ouch.
Like holy hell, did I get lucky! God was protecting me, big-time. About 7.5% of people that have GBS die. Many others have permanent muscle or nerve damage. Recovery from GBS can take years. And while my case was relatively mild, I found that to be true. I was weak for a very long time. Activities that used to be easy took so much effort and my goodness was my recovery frustrating. I am a very independent person and it was so challenging to not be able to do things on my own or to constantly ask for help. My work suffered, my mental health suffered, and my pride took a huge hit. But over time, I regained my strength and am so grateful to have about 95% of my normal functioning back. I may never fully recover, but 95% ain’t bad!
To say this was a wakeup call was an understatement. It’s not like I was incredibly unhealthy before this – I ate pretty well, swam and did yoga regularly, didn’t have any major vices, and went to therapy regularly. But I was constantly being run down by attending birth after birth or overcommitting myself and then burning out. It was a vicious cycle and this autoimmune disease, while scary, played a huge role in me learning how to take much better care of myself.
I began reading about holistic & preventative health. I learned about herbs & natural remedies. I started taking more time for myself and setting boundaries with my time so I could recharge regularly.
This is also when I began using thieves regularly to support my immune system. I had been a member of Young Living for years, but mainly used oils for aromatherapy in the Prenatal Yoga classes that I taught. I hadn’t yet incorporated them into my day-to-day life. But that would all change after I suffered from Guillain-Barre. I found other herbal remedies (hello elderberry syrup and master tonic!) and started embracing the concept of preventative health And let me tell you, it works! I have had my fair share of colds and even the flu now and again, but I’m SO much healthier. And when I do get sick, it’s short lived because I have oils, herbs, and knowledge to get me well again.
Recently I noticed myself falling back into a vicious cycle of putting everyone and everything before myself. And while I’m a HUGE proponent of self-less giving, I also believe that ones cup has to be full in order to continuously give. On top of all that, I recently got married and moved across the country. As I settle into my new home and we begin the journey towards having a baby I am working hard to eliminate as many toxins as I can from my life – figuratively and literally!
Starting anew in a new state and a new home made it easy to start switching to the healthy and toxin-free products Young Living sells. And I am also loving the process of making my own, trying new recipes, and seeing what works. The peace of mind that comes with these natural products has been immense!
So that’s a bit of my story and a huge part of my “why” for using and sharing Young Living oils. If you want to learn more about how you can ditch the toxins and achieve wellness, I’d love to chat. You can explore more of my blog or simply reach out! Thanks for being here!